Exercise 2 SHALLOW LOOPS
According to Katie, shallow loops are a very good suppling exercise. “They are simple, but with a horse like Dillon, who isn’t used to riding movements, they can be tricky. It takes a bit of co-ordination from you to get them spot on.” Loops can be ridden in walk, trot and canter — it’s the adjustment made to your horse’s body as he changes direction that creates the suppleness. “When your horse is more experienced, you’d expect him to be balanced and stay in rhythm throughout the loop, but in the early stages, don’t expect perfection. Start with a very shallow 5m loop.”
How to ride it
1 Come down the short side of your arena, riding a good corner as you turn onto the long side. 2 Ride a curve to the left if you’re on the left rein (or right if you’re on the right rein), aiming towards the centre line. Encourage your horse to stay forwards. 3 When you’re 5m from the track, straighten up, then bend the opposite way and ride back to the track. 4 Use the arena markers to help you focus on where you’re aiming for.
It’s the change of bend in shallow loops that helps create suppleness